I’ve been thinking a lot about this idea of disaster resistance. It’s a term we’ve been looking at here as a way of describing the modern landscape of protecting yourself from disaster. These days, you don’t want to recover because that means you’ve lost something. You want to push on through the disaster. It may beat you up a bit, but you don’t have to recover because you had systems in place to mitigate the effects of the disaster completely.
I’ve been thinking about it particularly this week because I had depressing reminder that there are somethings you can’t recover, no matter how well you plan ahead. Yesterday (when I was supposed to be posting to the Recovery Zone) I was in a car accident. It was not my fault and I wasn’t hurt, but my car didn’t fare so well.
The insurance company of the person at fault is going to pay for everything, even a rental car. If for some reason it hadn’t paid, my insurance would have. I’m certain my car is going to be totaled, but my wife and I have a healthy savings account just for something like this. We had a disaster recovery plan in place: insurance, savings, etc., and so everything’s going to be okay.
But here’s the thing. There’s a lot of emotion wrapped up in that car. It was the car my wife got when she graduated from high school. It’s been with her for longer than I have. Together, we’ve put almost 200,000 miles on it. We drove away from our wedding reception in it. We drove home every one of our newborn children from the hospital in it. Other cars have come and gone, but ol’ Beatrice has been with us through it all.
And there can be no recovery from that. Because we were prepared, we’ll be able to get a new car, maybe even one that better suits our needs. But we can never replace the emotions we had invested in that little blue Passat.
So, okay. Maybe you don’t have an emotional investment in your data (or maybe you do), but chances are there are some things in your business that you simply can’t recover. The question then becomes, how do you resist?
While I didn’t cause the accident that took my wife’s car from us, I could have probably averted by being a bit more responsible and conscientious on the road. I could have used a little more foresight, I could have kept a little more distance between me and the car in front of me so when it slammed on its brakes, I’d have more time to gradually apply mine.
Disasters happen, and sure, sometimes there’s no amount of preparation that can help. Sometimes you have to rely on recovery alone. But for most of the disasters you’ll face, you can resist. You can use virtualization, disk imaging, the cloud, or a variety of other great technologies on the market today to make downtime a thing of the past and eliminate data loss.
And if nothing is lost, then you don’t need to recover.